When Jesus Lopez-Cobos abruptly left the post of music director of the Teatro Real in 2010 - by amazing coincidence, the very same year that Gerard Mortier joined as artistic director - various personal reasons were cited, including his German wife's desire to return to Berlin.
However no-one turned a hair when Mortier put a different slant on the veteran conductor's departure in a Kurier interview last week. "He hardly worked with the orchestra. We had to throw him out," said Mortier.
No-one except Lopez-Cobos that is. He has sent a letter to the Teatro Real alleging that Mortier's "claims" are "absolutely false" and "harmful" and contain "false facts" that threaten to undermine his dignity and reputation. He says he decided on his own account not to renew his contract, and there are documents to prove it. He demands that the Teatro Real issue a corrective statement, expressly recognising his work with the orchestra. If they don't comply within seven days, he says, he will pursue the matter "through the appropriate channels". Whatever they may be.